My second attempt at knitting a set-in sleeve top down using short rows is working great.
One of the advantages of knitting sleeves this way is the ability to try on the sweater while the sleeve is being knit, and I've done so. The sleeve fits.
Now that I've had a few days to mull over why the first attempt failed, there are several reasons. Like any mentally healthy knitter, I'm blaming it on the pattern.
See how the sleeve caps are covered by the man's hands in the picture? That's because the pattern is written for a woman with large upper arms. Since the model is a normal size person, the sleeve caps are way too baggy on her. Just like the sleeve I frogged last Monday.
The pattern has the sleeves knit as a separate piece, bottom up, and sewn in. I'm knitting sleeves from picked up stitches, top down with short rows as described in Barbara Walker's book Knitting Top Down.
If I had measured a sweater that fits, I would have known that the underarm circumference of a sleeve that fits my arm is 15 to 16 inches. If I had looked at the pattern schematic, I would have seen that the underarm circumference of the pattern sleeve is 17.25 inches.
If I had done the calculation for picking up sleeve stitches according to the instructions I was supposedly following in Barbara Walker's book, I would have picked up 99 stitches. Instead, I picked up 112, the number of stitches from the pattern sleeve.
It's hard to blame it on the pattern when I should have known better.
Pattern: She Said Aran by Barbara Venishnick
Yarn: Cascade 220, 100% wool worsted weight
Color: 8708 Violet
Needles: Options #5
Gauge: 28 stithces/29.5 rows in 4 inches on lower sweater. 26 stitches/33 rows in 4 inches for upper sweater.